Unlike many other auspicious occasions and festivals, Shivaratri is not an annual occurrence. There are twelve Shivaratris in a year including the Maha Shivaratri. The one that falls in the month of Sawan is called Sawan Shivaratri, according to the Hindu calendar. It is believed that celebrating Shivaratri can get you moksha or nirvana, i.e. come out of the cycle of life and death according to Hinduism.
The devotees of Lord Shiva wait the entire year for Sawan Shivaratri. It’s called the season of Kanwar when the devotees visit the river Ganga and carry Gangajal along with them to the nearest Shiva Temple to their place and perform Rudrabhishek puja. Some ardent devotees walk on foot all the way from Haridwar, Neelkanth and other holy cities that are touched by the river Ganga.
This year Sawan Shivaratri is falling on 30th July, Tuesday. The pious week of Sawan has already started and the Kanwar festivities have already taken the North Indian Belt along the Ganga by storm. If you visit Delhi, Haridwar, Varanasi, Meerut and other cities in U.P you’ll get the glimpse of the real madness that followers of shiva have for him. Unlike other gods and goddess, Shiva has a bigger fandom rather than a base of devotees.
Shivaratri is celebrated with immense zeal and fervour at Shrines such as Kashi Vishwanath, Kedarnath and Harkipauri in Haridwar. Devotees reach these shrines ardently on Shivaratri and perform the ritual of Gangajal Abhishek in the morning. They take an early morning bath before entering the temple for the puja. The rituals and hymns start from the eve of Shivaratri and continue till the morning puja.
What’s the significance of Sawan Shivaratri?
According to the legends, on this day Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati remarried after she performed tough penance on the night of Amavas i.e. no moon for the welfare of Lord Shiva that is why unmarried women observe fast on all the Mondays of Sawan to marry the man of their dreams. Shivaratri is observed to celebrate the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the two great sources of the universe.
We, being the big Shiva Devatiees ourselves are gonna celebrate the day in our own style. What are your plans for the day? Feel free to share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear about your plans.